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The U.S. government has executed Dustin Higgs, the last prisoner executed during the Trump administration, and the 13th in the space of six months.

The Supreme Court declined to stop the execution, although some justices dissented, noting that before the first of the 13, it had been 17 years since a federal execution had been carried out.

NRA Files For Bankruptcy Amid Fraud Suit In New York

11 hours ago

The National Rifle Association filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Texas on Friday as its current home, New York, pursues a fraud case against the organization.

The NRA was founded in New York in 1871 and has since presented itself as a defender of Second Amendment rights. The NRA attributes the move to Texas to a "corrupt political and regulatory environment" in New York.

Next week marks one year since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first coronavirus case in the United States.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the outgoing CDC director, has been heading the federal public health agency's response to the pandemic from the start.

Parler calls itself a "conservative microblogging alternative" to Twitter and "the world's premier free speech platform."

But it's been offline for five days, and possibly forever, after Amazon kicked Parler off of its Web hosting service.

Civil rights officials at the Department of Health and Human Services issued a series of actions to protect people with disabilities from health care discrimination by medical providers during the pandemic.

The actions, by the Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, at the Department of Health and Human Services, specifically address discrimination related to the denial of treatment for people with disabilities who have COVID-19 or the symptoms of COVID-19. They include:

Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

The National Mall, where millions of people have gathered to mark historic events in Washington, D.C., was closed to the public late Friday morning, as officials announced a string of security measures meant to foil any attempts to derail next week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

As nations around the world scramble to start vaccinating against COVID-19, many countries are finding it difficult if not impossible to get the vaccines they want.

Case in point — Argentina. President Alberto Fernández promised to start vaccination campaigns in the South American nation before the end of 2020.

A Canton woman was found dead in a South Peoria garage following a fire Friday morning.

Telemedicine Sounds Great, But There Are Barriers, Too

13 hours ago

As soon as COVID-19 hit, there was a massive jump in telemedicine visits. A Centers for Disease Control study found that in March 2020 there was a 154% increase compared to the previous year.

Now it’s clear the coronavirus has dramatically changed the way Americans get medical care. But some of these virtual options remain out of reach for the most vulnerable populations, like seniors.

Keeping a physical distance from other humans is more critical than ever in the pandemic, with COVID-19 cases surging and more contagious variants spreading. Yet humans are not very good at it.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

One year ago this weekend, life as we knew it was about to change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, had been tracking a cluster of what looked like pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan. They'd issued an alert, told health care providers to be on the lookout for symptoms in patients who had been to Wuhan. And then January 17, 2020, the CDC made this announcement.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

One year ago this weekend, life as we knew it was about to change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, had been tracking a cluster of what looked like pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan. They'd issued an alert, told health care providers to be on the lookout for symptoms in patients who had been to Wuhan. And then January 17, 2020, the CDC made this announcement.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

One year ago this weekend, life as we knew it was about to change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, had been tracking a cluster of what looked like pneumonia cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan. They'd issued an alert, told health care providers to be on the lookout for symptoms in patients who had been to Wuhan. And then January 17, 2020, the CDC made this announcement.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

With Gov. JB Pritzker officially allowing Region 2 to move back to lighter COVID-19 restrictions, some businesses are now able to reopen their doors to customers--again.

The News Roundup — Domestic

14 hours ago

President Donald Trump became the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice. The House of Representatives voted to approve an Article of Impeachment drawn up following the rhetoric the president used at a rally to incite a violent mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists to storm the U.S. Capitol.

The News Roundup – International

14 hours ago

World leaders reacted to President Trump’s second impeachment after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained vague, noting that he had spoken recently with President-elect Joe Biden. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she thought Trump’s social media accounts should not have been suspended.

Tri-County health officials on Friday reported eight new COVID-19-related deaths, including six victims from Tazewell County.

Sangamon County seniors over 65 and essential workers eager to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should keep an eye on the county health department’s website and Facebook page.

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health will announce new availability of appointments for the shots on those channels in the coming days and weeks, as well as inform local news outlets, according to county spokesperson Jeff Wilhite.

This week, Illinois lawmakers wrapped up the work of the 101st General Assembly.  And there is  a new House Speaker - Chris Welch - after Michael Madigan lost the support of his caucus after nearly four decades in power.

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax joins the panel.

The U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands sent a jubilant tweet on Monday, claiming to have "made some history today." He had welcomed Taiwan's de facto ambassador into the U.S. Embassy for a meeting.

Knox County will begin vaccinating frontline essential workers and people aged 65 and older next week.

The White House push to vaccinate against the coronavirus will have a new name and new leadership under the Biden administration.

The "Operation Warp Speed" name will be retired, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Friday. She said there was an "urgent need to address the failures of the Trump team approach to vaccine distribution." Psaki did not say what the new name will be.

Sean Urbanski, a former University of Maryland student who stabbed and killed a Black Army lieutenant at a bus stop in May 2017, was sentenced to life in prison for what prosecutors said was a racially motivated hate crime.

A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge handed down the life sentence for Urbanski, 25. However, the judge denied the prosecution's request for a sentence without parole.

"I'm absolutely satisfied that justice was served," said Maryland State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy, whose office prosecuted the case.

Have you ever wondered what the person on the other side of the screen thinks of your home during a Zoom meeting? Until now, a lot of us haven't.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

Some 6,000 workers at Amazon's warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., will begin voting next month on a groundbreaking possibility: the first union in the company's U.S. history.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

As thousands of National Guard troops now buttress security in Washington, D.C., and the nation, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund is standing by his actions, and those of his agency, on Jan. 6 — the day pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol under his watch.

In an interview with NPR, Sund says he had already planned to have 1,400 to 1,500 officers on duty, "all hands on deck." He said Capitol Police expected a large crowd but said nothing prepared them for what actually happened.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have shortened the average life expectancy in the United States, according to new research, and the impact is most dire for racial and ethnic minorities.

The deaths caused by COVID-19 have reduced overall life expectancy by 1.13 years, according to the analysis by researchers at the University of Southern California and Princeton University.

That would be the largest single-year decline in life expectancy in the past 40 years and cut U.S. life expectancy to 77.48 years — the lowest it's been since 2003, the researchers say.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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